Earlier this week, 18 United States Senators–including New Jersey Senator and local superhero Cory Booker–called upon the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to regulate prepaid debit cards issued to released prisoners. These “prison release cards” often carry exorbitant fees and are all around exploitative.
Over 650,000 prisoners leave state and federal jails each year. The majority are booked and released shortly thereafter; most people released from jails are never convicted of any crime. These individuals constitute an involuntary pool of consumers with no choice or say in whether they have to use prepaid debit cards to access their own money. Giskan Solotaroff is working with lawyers around the country to litigate a class action in Oregon and an arbitration in Florida against two prison release card companies: EZ Card & Kiosk LLC, which issues the EZ Exit Card, and Numi Financial, which issues the Prestige Prepaid MasterCard.
Senator Booker’s letter is available here.